British billionaire businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made a late bid of £4.25bn to buy Chelsea. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale before he was sanctioned for his alleged links to Russian president Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine. Three bidders were in the running to buy Chelsea for about £2bn.
Ratcliffe’s bid would mean £1.75bn invested into the club over 10 years. A further £2.5bn has been committed to a charitable trust to support victims of the war in Ukraine. Ratcliffe, 69, founded chemicals group Ineos in 1998. The company is best known in the sporting world for its sponsorship of British cycling outfit Team Ineos. “This is a British bid, for a British club,” read an Ineos statement.
“We will invest in Stamford Bridge to make it a world-class stadium, befitting of Chelsea FC. This will be organic and ongoing so that we will not move away from the home of Chelsea and risk losing the support of loyal fans. “We will continue to invest in the team to ensure we have a first-class squad of the world’s greatest players, coaches and support staff, in the men’s and women’s games. “And we hope to continue to invest in the academy to provide opportunity for talented youngsters to develop into first class players.”
Chelsea are operating under a special licence from the UK government which ends on 31 May, but on Thursday Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the club were on “borrowed time” to complete the sale.